The entire Marvel Universe will feel the impact on April 4 when war breaks out in “Avengers vs. X-Men” No. 1, the publishing “event” that features two storied super-teams and — in a real-world rivalry — represents Marvel’s bid to reclaim the spotlight that shifted to DC Comics with the New 52, the landmark relaunch of every DC title that made national news in August and September.
But Joe Quesada, chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment, scoffed when asked if “Avengers vs. X-Men” could be viewed as a response to the New 52 or any other DC initiative, for that matter. The Marvel exec said he’d been hearing those half-baked theories but that’s all they are if you look into the history of the planned showdown series.
“Yeah, of course — that’s what people want to think,” Quesada said. “But let’s be clear: The DC relaunch is a response to everything Marvel’s been doing, and not the other way around. You don’t set fire to your entire house for no good reason. And by the way, I tip my hat to them. They did something daring and it worked for them. They boosted sales of some of their books. But ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’ is something that’s been on our docket for publishing for several years now.”
The confrontation between the two super squads is keyed by very different views of the Phoenix Force — the Avengers see it as a global threat, the X-Men believe it could be the salvation of mutants everywhere. Marvel will be previewing “X-Men vs. Avengers” at WonderCon in Anaheim on March 17. Marvel’s executive editor, Tom Brevoort, and writer Jeph Loeb (now also the head of Marvel’s television projects, both live-action and animated) will be onstage for that presentation.
Quesada said the series couldn’t be launched before some other dominoes fell.
“It’s something that we’ve talked about I’d say for three to four years, but it wasn’t a story that we were ready to pull the trigger on yet because the X-Men had to go through a certain metamorphosis,” Quesada said. “You’ve seen that metamorphosis happen with Cyclops’ role changing, and characters like Hope had to be put into place. There was a lot of stuff that had to get to where it needed to be. So whether it was Spider-Man vs. Wolverine or some other event that Marvel is doing, someone’s going to say that it’s a response to DC. They can say what they want.”
– Jevon Phillips and Geoff Boucher
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